Writing Prompts: Sci-Fi

Prompt: You wake up one morning to find out that you get to move to any planet of your choosing.

Space Traveler

“Attention Earthling! This is RoboMaster! Here is the message:

“You have been chosen to move to a planet of your choosing. You have 24 hours in which you must decide on your new home. All travel and living arrangements will be made for you by The Leaders. The only choice you have in this matter is which planet you will inhabit. You may not choose Earth. You may not change your mind. Ever. Any resistance is futile. This is for your own health and safety, and the health and safety of the over-crowded planet Earth.”

The voice switched off. The mechanical, impersonal message that had filtered through his speakers left Jack feeling hopeless and helpless. There was no hint that he would have company in leaving Earth. There were no instructions as to which other planets were habitable.

Sighing, Jack sat down at his computer, commanded it to wake up, and gave it the directive to find habitable planets. The computer replied, “Working. Please wait.”

Masses of code flashed on the screen, too fast for anyone but another computer to read. Jack waited, enjoying the coffee he’d ordered his personal robot to fetch him. Finally, his computer said, “Here is the information you requested. Are there further commands?”

“Not yet, but please stand by,” answered Jack. He sighed. It was a lonely business, living in the age of robots, computers, and cubes. He glanced around his own cube, amazed at the ingenuity of the design. There was everything a man needed–except for human companionship. He had not been given the order to marry, so he lived alone, hoping always that such an order would come soon.

Thinking hard, Jack said, “Computer. Please find other planets inhabited by Earth people; also, that have un-mated women eligible for marriage.”

“Working,” replied the computer. “Please stand by.”

Again, code flashed and scrolled. When it stopped, there was a list of planets with links Jack could use for researching each one. “Are there any further commands?” asked the computer.

“Please stand by,” responded Jack. He wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with a human being. “Computer, please find a planet on which people are free to speak with other people, face-to-face.”

“Working,” replied the computer. Again, screen after screen of flashing code. When the code stopped, the computer said, “Human-to-human conversation is denied. It is not a freedom or a right. Are there any further commands?”

Jack sighed, deeply disappointed but not surprised. The Leaders were not inclined to conversation. They just gave orders. Disobedience was rapidly and absolutely punished by death. Jack’s closest relationship was with his computer. He had tried to name it once, but discovered that naming one’s computer was considered a sign of weakness. Not allowed.

Jack wondered, as he often did, what this life was all about. He had no memories before his cube. He assumed he must have had a mother, but had no memory of that, either. He had work, which he faithfully performed every day. His “free” time was dictated by The Leaders, who gave him a regimen of physical activity and approved hobbies. Non-compliance was punishable by death. There was no crime on earth, because no one was free to leave the cube to which he was assigned. There were eyes everywhere. Every exit from his cube was watched. He was allowed to open his doors or windows for an allotted period of time every day, but he could not step outside the door without his robot to guard him. All cubes shared walls with other cubes, but there was no contact allowed between the inhabitants of the cubes. Every night, his viewing screen showed the fate of anyone who had been caught stepping past the approved boundaries. It wasn’t a pleasant sight.

Jack began researching the habitable-for-humans planets, and after narrowing his search to three, he looked at each of them in more detail. He finally decided on Blue Earth II, in the Second Solar System, as his destination. Immediately upon making his choice, RoboMaster came back through the speaker in his cube.

“You have made a sensible choice. The Leaders approve, and have given the order for you to take only one change of clothing with you. All other essentials will be provided. Note: The Leaders have seen you are interested in having a mate. They are considering your desire, and you will be informed of their choice in due time. You are to be ready for transport at precisely 8 a.m. tomorrow. Do not be late. You will be picked up and taken to the travel station.”

Jack didn’t have any particular response to this huge change in his life, other than a mild interest in who might be chosen for him as his mate. A tightly governed life held very few surprises. One seldom needed to think or make any decisions.

He expected it would be more of the same on Blue Earth II. Sighing, he chose his one change of clothing, inspected his cube to make sure nothing was out of order, and got busy with his assigned work.

Life was certainly safe, unless one tried to step out of the will of the The Leaders.

10 thoughts on “Writing Prompts: Sci-Fi

      1. I have to leave soon for dental surgery, so I will answer your questions later. Please say a little prayer for me. I am nervous, especially after having an anaphylactic shock reaction to an anesthesia injection many years ago. They won’t give me that particular anesthesia of course, but still! Eeek! I know the Lord Jesus is with me, though, and He is in control. Praise His Holy Name!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Now that my jaw no longer feels like the dentist used me for a punching bag yesterday, I can answer your questions about the UFO that my mother, my mother’s then boyfriend/future husband, and my little sister and I saw in 1967. To answer your first question, we determined that what we saw in the sky was a UFO because, in the truest meaning of the phrase ‘Unidentified Flying Object’, we saw: 1. an object, 2. the object was flying, and 3. we could not identify it.

        Regarding your second question, I did not report the sighting to any authorities because, being fourteen year old, it simply did not occur to me to do so. My mother and her boyfriend did not report it to anyone either, as far as I know, probably because they could barely bring themselves to talk about it.

        I mean that quite literally. Both my mother, and my now deceased stepfather, were typically very lively, animated talkers. When they would talk about anything they considered interesting or important, their voices were full of emotion, and their faces, hands, and body language would come alive. But… ask them about the UFO, even decades later, and it was as though a switch inside them was suddenly turned off. Both of them would speak in a low monotone, their faces flat, their hands and bodies still as a stone. There they would be, describing the most amazing thing they had ever seen in their entire lives, finishing each other’s sentences in the telling, and yet they both related the story as though they were talking in their sleep. Every single time! It was both fascinating and creepy.

        To my knowledge, I have never gone into a weird trance-like state like my mom and stepdad always did, when I talk about the UFO that I saw that same night. Neither does my sister, who was only seven at the time. Why the difference? I suspect it’s because, although we apparently all saw the same UFO on the same night, my sister and I saw it only briefly, from our back yard in Springfield, Missouri. But our mother and future stepfather saw it a little later that night, as they were sitting beside Fellows Lake, a small body of water north of Springfield. According to the monotone story they both told, they watched this strange object fly around the lake for a long time, maybe for an hour or longer.

        I have lived near U.S. Air Force and Naval Air bases for most of my adult life, both in the United States and in England. I have also gone to several very impressive Blue Angels air shows. I have flown on approximately 38 different commercial jets, as well as on one small airplane, and once on a helicopter, during my various air travels. So I can tell you that absolutely nothing flying in and out of our military bases, in and out of our airports, or even in a special public air shows, can come even close to making the kind of maneuvers that the UFO over Springfield, Missouri, did, way back in the summer of 1967. What I saw was like something from a Star Trek movies, only even more astounding.

        So… What did my mother, her boyfriend, my little sister, and I see that night? Was it from outer space? Was it from another planet? Was it some new top secret technology that our government, or another country’s government, was working on? Was it physical, or was it actually something spiritual?

        My honest answer is: I have no idea. It was a very large, very solid-looking object. It was maneuvering and flying around the sky. I could not identify it when I was fourteen years old, nor would I be able to identify it if I saw the same thing now. It was, truly, an Unidentified Flying Object.

        I’m sure you must be wondering what it looked like. It was shaped a bit like a cigar, but it was huge. Maybe as big as the Goodyear blimp, maybe even larger. It was very bright, smooth, and shiny. It reminded me of the shiny side of aluminum foil, before it has any wrinkles. There were no windows or doors that I could see, just that smooth, shiny metal everywhere. There were lights on the bottom, but I no longer recall how many or what color the lights were. I do recall that the lights were not like the lights you typically see on jet aircraft.

        The huge object could slowly fly up, then sideways, then back down, then back over, then back up, in a strange glike pattern. It periodically made a very loud, almost ear-piercing sound, but most of the time it was absolutely silent. It could hang, motionless and soundless, in the air, just above the tree tops, for a very long time. From that silent, motionless position, hanging in the air just on the other side of our back yard fence, this massive silver object suddenly took off, flying toward the north, at a speed much faster than even the fastest jets that I have ever seen, showing off their top speed in air shows. Within only a few seconds, this massive, blimp sized or larger UFO that had been flying above and around our back yard and then hovering silently just above the trees — this huge object flew away so fast that in seconds, it looked like a very bright star — then it was just a pinpoint of light in the sky. And then, in the blink of an eye, it was entirely gone from view.

        It had flown in the direction of Fellows Lake. The next morning, before my sister or I said anything about what we had seen, my mom and her boyfriend began to haltingly, dreamily, tell us about the strange aircraft they had watched at length, flying around the lake the night before.

        Whatever it was, it was amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow! What a fantastic experience! It’s not surprising that you remember it so clearly. It is curious that your mom and step-dad were so reserved about it. Maybe they thought everyone would think they were nuts or something. And if they didn’t understand it themselves, that probably made it hard for them to talk about it.

        Liked by 1 person

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